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Northwestern students in the Practicum in Intelligent Information Systems hosted an open house on the Evanston campus today to showcase their work. The student groups presented on a number of projects that ranged from a system tracks gestures to play sounds and music to one that uses LIDAR to provide proximity feedback to blind users.
One student group, hailing from both the law school and computer science, spent the quarter working with David Schwartz and Kris Hammond to explore and develop prototype interfaces for the PACER federal court data. Through identifying types of users and their needs, the student group chose to prototype a system that supports natural language access to the case information. Their prototype, dubbed ‘Analytica Federale’, was focused on making accessing and understanding the data easy. Searches such as “what is the total number of cases by type?” or “how many cases do the judges have?” would automatically query the court records and return graphs that are simple and intuitive to understand. The students’ work over the quarter is a tremendous first step in demonstrating how easy accessing court data can and should be.